Further to my earlier article (Coastguard Kerfuffle, this blog, 22 Feb 2011), there have been new developments as regards the proposed cuts to the coastguard service.
The MCA have announced a 6 week extension to their public consultation, which will now end 5 May 2011. Most observers have taken this as a sign that the government is having second thoughts. Additionally, the Transport Select Committee have announced an inquiry into the proposals.
Coastguards representatives are taking the line that reform and modernisation of the service is to be welcomed, but that these particular proposals would be damaging. Their campaign, and those of a number of local newspapers, have attracted cross-party support.
In a fairly changeable situation, it`s almost impossible to provide an up-to-date guide to media coverage as new articles appear frequently. Here`s a quick overview ;
The Western Telegraph has printed a number of spirited articles in support of the campaign to save Milford Haven Coastguard Station. These can be viewed at www.westerntelegraph.co.uk .
Coverage of the campaigns to save both Milford Haven and Holyhead Coastguard Stations can be found at www.theonlinemail.co.uk , an umbrella site for two newspapers which together cover the Bangor, Holyhead and Anglesey areas.
The Milford Mercury is running a Save our Coastguard Station campaign in respect of Milford Haven and their site provides a number of useful links - www.milfordmercury.co.uk .
The Hexham Express has been running a similar campaign in respect of Brixham, with details appearing at www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk .
My earlier article provided links to the coastguards` websites, Facebook pages and petitions and also contact details for the Transport Select Committee and a link to the MCA site for anyone wishing to read/respond to the consultation document. These are still current.
It seems unlikely now that the cuts will go ahead in their original form, but at the same time it`s not a good time to get complacent. This is a second opportunity for interested parties to inform themselves and make their voices heard. Make the most of it.